Beaten and stabbed ‘for being gay’

Bulelani Majeke has laid charges of assault.

Bulelani Majeke, 35, is recovering physically, but still haunted by his recent attack in which he was stabbed in the face multiple times with a broken bottle.

His sin was his sexual orientation. After the attack, in Harare, Khayelitsha, Bulelani, who identifies as a homosexual male, was admitted to hospital.

He knew his attacker and believes the stabbing, which took place near a local tshisa nyama (braai place), was driven by his sexuality.

He said the alleged attacker made lewd comments about him and called him “moffie” before attacking him with a bottle.

On the Sunday he was attacked, said Bulelani, he and his friend were mocked and called “moffies” while they were going home.

“When he made the moffie comments I asked him who he was referring to.

“He responded by saying he was not talking to me but to my friend.

Before I think, he attacked me with a bottle. I immediately ran to the police station to open a case. Police took me to the hospital where I got a J88 form for me to open a case. I then opened the case with Harare police,” he explained.

When Vukani visited him on Tuesday January 14, Bulelani was healing well. He said he was shocked to have been attacked by a man he knows. “I will be honest, I know him as a sweet gentleman. I never thought he would do such a thing. He was probably drunk but it is not for me to speak for him,” he said.

A family friend, Nqabisa Qonongo, who was with him when Vukani visited, added: “We don’t know what went to his head to behave the way he did. But the law has to take its course. We are waiting for the police to finish their investigation and let us know the next steps,” she said.

The attack was condemned by LGBTQ+ organisations who said this was the daily experience of those who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

Co-founder of Free Gender Funeka Soldaat said the attack on Bulelani was one of many happening in the community.

“The issue of verbal attack is happening daily to this community. But I must say that there are community members that are against the attack on LGBTQ community. We condemn what has happened to him and many others,” she said.

She said as much as the country is praised for having a constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and protects the human rights of LGBTQ people, there is still a long way to go. She said there are people who are still using homophobic slur words.

Captain Siyabulela Vukubi confirmed that the accused had been arrested and that investigations were continuing.